In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday, we speak to the women behind the shows we love, and that includes The Vampire Diaries‘ exec producer Julie Plec, who weaves an epic tale of vampire romance — and loneliness — with twists that make us gasp, swoon, and sob. Here, Plec, 40, shares how she went from TV fan to showrunner, where she gets her inspiration, who is her secret weapon, what she and Kevin Williamson were doing when they “met and fell in love,” and when they decided how TVD would ultimately end.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When you first moved to LA, what did you set out to do?
JULIE PLEC: I embarrass myself repeatedly when I say this, because I find it to be so terribly shallow. I wish I could say, “Oh, having read Shakespeare, I just really wanted to be a storyteller.” No. I wanted to work in Hollywood. I was captivated by it. I read Premiere magazine, and Movieline magazine, and Us before it was a weekly magazine. I read Tiger Beat and Bop from the time I was 9, 10, 11 years old. I loved movies. I saw E.T. seven times. I used to yell at people who called me when L.A. Law was on because they should know better. So I just have been so in love with the business of Hollywood since I can remember. And I just sorta said, “Well, I ‘m gonna go. I’m gonna do something.” And what’s hilarious is that I was a film major at Northwestern, and I transferred out of the film program halfway through because I thought, “Well, I don’t want to be a director, and I can’t write, and producers are only into the money, so I don’t know what the hell I’m gonna do.” I ended up with an interdepartmental major where I did a lot of theater, a lot of communications, and some film work. I learned more about who I am, and how to be a great worker, and a great artistic worker, from doing student theater. I was a stage manager, I was an assistant stage manager, I was on the running crew. I did probably 25 shows at Northwestern, all musicals of course. [Laughs] READ FULL STORY